New milestone in Bible translation work with 700th language

(Photo: Chuttersnap)

An indigenous people group in Mexico can now enjoy the Bible in their own language thanks to the decades-long commitment of translators.

The completed Bible, for the Huichol people group - also known as Wixáritari, was launched on 10 July. 

It marks a new milestone as Huichol is believed to be the 700th language to receive its own translation of the whole Bible. 

The New Testament in Huichol was completed all the way back in 1968.  After half a century of painstaking work, they can now enjoy the Old Testament in their own language as well. 

One member of the Huichol community said: "We are so happy that we now have the complete Bible, the Old and New Testaments." 

James Poole, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, said the completion of the Huichol Bible was indicative of the "tremendous work" being done by translators around the world to give more people access to God's story in their own language. 

"It's good to take a step back and realise what this 700th Bible means: 5.7 billion people who speak 700 languages now have the Bible in the language that speaks to them best," he said.

"That is a remarkable figure and continues to grow.

"However, there are still about 1.5 billion people – that's roughly 1 in 5 – who do not have the Bible in their language. That's an injustice that Bible translation teams worldwide continue to work to put right." 

Other translations to be completed this year include the Ellmowe Bible in Malawi and two more digital copies on the YouVersion app - a newly edited version in the Tiv language, first published in 1964, and the Igede Bible, both in Nigeria.

"We live in exciting times, when the vision that all people will be able to read or hear God's word in their language is becoming a reality," Poole added.